Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden and Tackle Trent Williams (08-02-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On CB Bashaud Breeland's reaction to the signing of Josh Norman as a "No. 1 corner":

"I don't know. I don't know how he initially took it when he initially heard the news, but I don't really consider it a 'one' corner or 'two' corner. You need two starting corners. Both of them are equally as important, so he's going to be an integral part of our defense, no matter how you slice it. One might get more notoriety, might be matched up against a certain player from time-to-time. We're not going to do a lot of traveling, most likely, and he's going to be on some really good receivers throughout the year. We're going to count on him in a big way. He understands that, he accepts that, and he's going to do great. He's competing his butt off out here and doing a great job."

On how Su'a Cravens will figure into roster decisions for each position group:

"Yeah, right now he's [playing] as a linebacker. That's what we're initially teaching him, the linebacker spot for nickel and dime. That's what he's learning right now, and then we may branch off later as he gets more experience in the system to be a safety or nickel. But right now we're focusing on one job and that's linebacker."

On the tight end corps and how many tight ends the team will carry:

"Yeah, they're doing good. I don't know how many we're going to carry, yet, it depends on the fullback position. Right now, we have one fullback, Joe Kerridge, and he's doing a good job. Niles Paul can also play fullback, so he's kind of a swing guy. Vernon [Davis] is doing excellent picking up the system for his first time with this terminology. Obviously Jordan [Reed] is the bell cow. And then you've got Logan Paulsen coming off his injury doing good. [Derek] Carrier has yet to practice, but he's close. And Marcel Jensen is a big, physical tight end. So I'm not worried about how many we're going to keep yet. We're just going to let these guys go out here and compete. We'll make those determinations later."

On Cravens:

"We're going to hold him out probably today, maybe tomorrow. He just has a little sprained tendon on the back of his leg. Hamstring-type thing, I don't know exactly what it is. Another rookie [laughter]… Rookie training room in here."

On scheduling a special teams practice for Wednesday:

"We're going to obviously focus on special teams for about an hour out here. We're going two days – we went yesterday and today. We'll go pretty hard. And then tomorrow I didn't want to go three, four, five days in a row. I wanted to go two days hard and then really hone in on special teams – punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return, field goal, field goal block – and let the big guys maybe have a rest day. A lot of times when you go three days, the third day is usually going to be a rest day for a lot of the veterans so I wanted to get something out of it. We'll do special teams. The big guys will do something on the other field, conditioning-wise."

On the difference in G Brandon Scherff from last year:

"Well, the comfort level… he's much more comfortable. It's not even close. He's doing a good job. Offensive guards do fly under the radar just because that's their position, but he's not going unnoticed by us. He's doing an excellent job. He and Morgan [Moses] both on the right side, to see how far they've come along from last year at this time, it's night and day."

On TE Derek Carrier:

"I don't think we will see him in Richmond. No, I think once we get back to Ashburn, I think he will be close then. So, he's got a couple more weeks left."

On RB Robert Kelley:

"Yeah, he has a slight pull of his hamstring and he will miss today. Tomorrow is a special team day, so we hope to get him back Thursday."

On how NT Kedric Golston has been able to sustain such a long career in Washington after being a late-round pick in 2006:

"I think the best way to sum him up is he does whatever is asked of him and he does his job. He is one of those guys when you talk about, 'Just do your job,' he does his job and he does it extremely well. We don't ask him to do a whole lot, but what we do ask of him, he's going to give it his best every snap, no matter what. That's Kedric's style. It's hard to separate yourself from a guy like that because he's such a great team player, he's a great leader, works extremely hard and does exactly what's asked of him. He has very few – if any – mental busts and that's important when you're talking about a big, physical man of that stature and doesn't have any mental busts, knows the system inside and out, does what's asked of him. You know, what else can you ask for?"

On RB Matt Jones' commitment to improving his preparation and ball security:

"Well, so far we haven't had a lot of full tackling but I think he is making a conscious effort to improve and that's half the battle right there. You know, a lot of guys, 'Ah, it was just a fluke fumble,' and they don't change. But Matt Jones has made a conscious effort. He and Randy Jordan too changed how he holds the ball and his work habits and it's paying off and I think it will pay off. That is the first way to correct something is actually making a change and he has done that, which is exciting."

On this being a "calm, boring training camp":

"Thanks [laughter]… Well, we don't want a three-ring circus out here, if that's what you mean. I don't know if it's been like that in the past, probably when I first got here, but our goal is to coach football and play football. We're trying to get the best out of our guys. We're not trying to do any crazy stunts off the field. We just want to focus in on our job at hand and that is to get better every day. As a group – coaches alike, same as players – that's all we're trying to accomplish and I think so far we're off to a great start. We have a long ways to go but all the off-the-field stuff and the entertainment value that people are looking for, hopefully they don't find it here. We're very business-like in our approach and we're trying to rebound from last year's loss to the Packers and repeat as NFC East champions and go a little bit further."

On riding his bike to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center:

"Well, it's about a three-mile journey. What is it – a wild hog ride, a wild toad ride? It's a dangerous ride up those streets, with traffic and car doors opening, going the wrong way on a one-way street, running stop signs. It's pretty dangerous. But it's good exercise. I try to get a couple miles a day on it, that's all it is. It only takes about 20 minutes to get up here. It's good exercise… I don't do a whole lot of talking when I'm on my bike; I'm paying attention to traffic coming at me. It's good, we have about eight or nine coaches that do it from time to time, and it's fun."

Tackle Trent Williams

On if he talked to members of the Hogs prior to his "Hogs 2.0" workout:

"I haven't talked to them to ask them if it was OK or not. I just figured that we were showing respect, so I didn't think anybody would have an issue with it."

On the development of T Morgan Moses and G Brandon Scherff:

"They're definitely making strides. Coach [Bill] Callahan has done a great job developing those guys. Obviously, the talent is there, they just had to put it to the field. Those guys are doing a great job, man. They're continually working hard. They're definitely making strides."

On the development of Spencer Long, Josh LeRibeus and Arie Kouandjio:

"I think they got a lot of valuable playing time – obviously more so Josh and Spencer than Arie, but Arie has rotated in quite a bit since the start of camp and OTAs. They've all had their chance to come along as players and to continue to gain experience. Obviously before Shawn [Lauvao] left, he was playing some of his best football that we've seen. Hopefully getting him back he can get back on the same track. Just having those guys ready to come in at any time just makes us stronger as a unit."

On if RB Matt Jones is ready to be the primary running back:

"I definitely think he's ready. He came back to camp in awesome shape, probably the best shape of his life. You can tell that he worked extremely hard this summer. I think he's poised, he's ready to take over that position. Obviously being a third-round pick, he has a wealth of talent, all he needs is those touches. I truly believe this could be his breakout year."

On TEs Niles Paul and Vernon Davis and their impact as blockers:

"You know, we've been doing a tight end/tackle combination since the day I first walked in here. That hasn't changed, but obviously being healthier, I think the tight end room is probably one of the deepest positions on the team. You know, we have got at least four or five tight ends who can legit start for us and play extremely, extremely good football. Obviously we have, in my opinion, the best route-running tight end in the league today. Those guys, it's a great bunch, great bunch to play beside. It's another weapon that we have and, yeah, they're coming along awesome."

On the team's confidence:

"I mean, it comes from us being competitive, man – being professionals. I mean, if you don't have confidence, you might as well not step on the field. We're not sitting here practicing every day on run game and run schemes to go out there and be mediocre. I feel like any team in the league should set those expectations high, and we're no different."

On if he has noticed any improvement in his game now that Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan is in his second season with the team:

"Yeah, obviously. You know, having two offensive line coaches that I think are basically night and day, Coach Callahan asks us to do a lot of things different. Another year in his system, it helps everybody. We understand more; the understanding is there. He continues to tweak his scheme onto our strength and we continue to tweak as players under his scheme. So, I think it's finally starting to pay off."

On if he discusses leadership with QB Kirk Cousins:

"No, we don't have conversations about it, but with being a quarterback, most of the time they are natural-born leaders anyway. With the keys being turned over to him last year, I think he started to emerge as a leader then, even more so now. But ever since he's been the commander of that huddle, he's been one of the leaders."

On how he feels and his personal goals this season:

"I'm feeling great. Obviously, I say it all the time, I just want to be better than last year. I want to just continue to grow as a player, continue to try to reach that ceiling, and continue to string along good seasons. Try to go out and lead by example."

On Scherff's transition to right guard:

"It was a difficult transition. Any tackle coming in as a rookie playing with the first team, it's just a totally different game. I think he's more built like a guard. He could've been a good tackle but he can definitely be an All-Pro guard. So I think the move was right. He's continually making improvements, continuing to make strides. Obviously this year I think should be head and shoulders above the last and that just comes with growth and experience."

On the team's confidence:

"When you know what you're doing and you're more familiar, that breeds the confidence. I think that the job that the front office has done will continually add depth to this team and continually add playmakers and cornerstones to this team. The confidence just comes along with it. We know we're a talented bunch but at the same time we know that you can't win a game on paper. Our plan is to go out and prove it on Sundays."

On Callahan's role in helping him reach his potential:

"He never lets me settle. No matter how good I play, no matter how bad I play, there is always going to be coaching tips. He always going to push me to do better. So I respect him for that. He has definitely helped me grow in all facets of my game."

On having two strong route-running tight ends in Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis:

"I mean, pick your poison. But obviously it is no secret what Vernon has done in this league, but I think what Jordan is doing is kind of starting to really grab a lot of attention… Yeah, I was referring to Jordan when I said that."

On LB Preston Smith:

"Yeah, he is definitely more comfortable -- he is stepping into that role more as a starter. He has taken the onus upon himself to come in in great shape, come in and have worked on his body and skill set the whole off-season.  Every day he gets harder to block, so I think we both make each other better. You know, it goes with the old saying, 'iron sharpens iron.' He is definitely keeping it coming."

On T Morgan Moses: "I took him under my wing. He's like a little brother to me. I see so much potential in him and so much talent in him, and you know, I'm just pleased to see how hard he works and how much he tries to continue to improve his game on the field and off the field, in the meeting room… I mean, he's a scholar of the game and the sky's the limit for him. I definitely think that right side is going to emerge as one of the best right sides in this league in the next couple years."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.